Australia’s shameful vaccine statistic

 

The speed of Australia's vaccination rate is ranked just 90th in the world, as experts warn the coronavirus is mutating faster than the country is administering jabs.

University of New South Wales strategic health policy consultant Adjunct Professor Bill Bowtell said Australia's rate of cumulative doses per hundred was 2.34.

"We are somewhere about 90th in the world - sandwiched between Bolivia and Albania - now, however you want to spin it we are not doing very well," he told 3AW on Tuesday morning.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised an end of March target of four million jabs administered, but fewer than a million have been given.

"There are 97 per cent of Australians this morning who aren't vaccinated - this is not going well," professor Bowtell said.

"In the world, the virus is mutating faster than we in Australia are vaccinating.

"Most of the other countries in the world … have got this through their head that they need to mobilise urgently to get ahead of the variants of the virus that are spreading in the world - It's a very serious situation."

Professor Bowtell said distribution and supply issues had played a role in the slow rollout.

"We have problems with supply, because of the way in which procurement was organised five or six months ago," he said.

"And we clearly have problems with distribution … we are not moving fast enough with mass vaccination centres and so on.

"We are falling way behind."

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the rollout would continue, while officials investigate a blood-clotting case. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Matray
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the rollout would continue, while officials investigate a blood-clotting case. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Matray

 

Opposition health spokesman Mark Butler said barely three per cent of adults in Australia were vaccinated compared to 60 per cent of adults in the UK, and 40 per cent in the US.

"We are running way, way behind schedule," Mr Butler told ABC RN on Tuesday.

However, he agreed that Australia did not have the urgency of countries in the northern hemisphere, which have widespread coronavirus outbreaks.

"Places like the US, the UK, Brazil and many others and that's why, perhaps, they have been able to achieve those (vaccination) rates," he said.

It comes as health authorities maintain the AstraZeneca jab is safe following a rare blood-clotting case in a Melbourne man after receiving the vaccine on March 22.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the rollout would continue, while officials investigating the case.

He said authorities had put the vaccine through rigorous testing before allowing its use across the country.

"If anybody is susceptible [to blood clots], they ought to consult their general practitioner," Mr Hunt said on Sunday.

"This very considered medical process reaffirms exactly why … Australia sought to have a full, thorough and absolute safety process in assessing the vaccines.

"The course of events reaffirms that this is the right approach."

anthony.piovesan@news.com.au

Originally published as Australia's shameful vaccine statistic


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